Can You Plan An Open House Potluck Party?

December 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm 2 comments

I’m often asked the difference between a “potluck” and an “open house,” and receive comments like, “I just got invited to an open house and I don’t know what dish I should bring.”

So, first, let’s clear up a few party terms and then chat about the benefits to each of these party types so that you can decide what kind of shindig you’re up for creating.

When you throw a POTLUCK you are inviting your guests to share in the task of providing something for the party, traditionally the meal, but this can also include paper goods, drinks, music, or any other “gifts” or talents your friends and family may want to share.

When throwing an OPEN HOUSE, you, the host, are in essence opening up your home and asking your guests to drop by any time that is convenient for them during a specified timeframe. Thus, as the host, you are responsible for providing all the goodies at your party and your guests get to show up, relax and enjoy the mood you’ve created for them.

The great thing about POTLUCKS is that your guests can take an active part in creating the party. Generally they create a more casual type of gathering, and this can be perfect for impromptu celebrations or when budget is a strong consideration.

OPEN HOUSES provide you and your guests an opportunity to mix and mingle and share some time…to just go with the flow. This type of gathering can be anywhere from casual to black tie. In fact, black tie is often a very fun option.

So, what is the difference than between a normal party vs. an open house? Basic party etiquette says that a PARTY starts at a certain time and you should arrive near that starting time, especially if food is being served. Showing up “whenever” would be considered rude, even disrespectful, unless prior arrangements have been made.

At an OPEN HOUSE, however, your guests are free to come whenever they’d like. These types of parties are particularly helpful for example, on busy holidays like Halloween, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve. Also, food menus will be a bit different as you’ll want to serve foods that can sit out on ice or on heat for the duration of the party, and even activities will change from arranged group recreation to more do-it-yourself type entertainment.

There you have it, the basics. This month on Shelby’s Secrets to a Great Party! I’ve put together an Open House Party Plan. Surprise. Surprise! As always, if you have any questions, you can email me at askshelby@youcanplanaparty.com.

Be sure to check out the How-To Video under the RSVP Club member’s section too, as I’m showing you some inventive ways to wrap a bottle (wine, champagne, or sparkling juice) with meaning, the heartfelt way. These ideas make lovely hostess gifts for all those parties you’ll be going to this holiday season, because it is always thoughtful to arrive with a little something for your host.

Wishing you a lovely and safe holiday season, full of warmth and affection.

Currently the host of “Shelby’s Secrets to a Great Party!” airing on YouCanPlanAParty.com, Shelby Phillips is an award-winning party design expert with over 20 years experience. Shelby has co-written a book series titled “The Enlightened Party Planner: Guides to Creating Parties from the Heart” and developed a 6-step formula for bring people together to celebrate. She has also been a host and designer on the Style Network’s “Big Party Plan Off,” and owner of a successful event planning and promotions company.

Entry filed under: Party Etiquette, Party Ideas, Party Planning, Theme Parties. Tags: , , , , .

“New Year’s” Comes Early So Plan Your Party The Holiday Connection

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. benefits of 5-HTP  |  September 11, 2014 at 8:01 pm

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    Reply

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Shelby L. Phillips

As an intuitive transformational messenger of hope, a communicative wife of 25 years, and an open-hearted mother of two, I take pleasure in telling good news stories, connecting people to the seven dimensions of well-being, and inspiring us to love ourselves and each other because life really is worth celebrating! Find out more about me at ShelbyPhillipsConnects.com

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